This wasn’t a series the Phillies would have won last year.
After a demoralizing 6-4 loss on Tuesday night, the Phils made a full recovery this afternoon and finished off the Mets 3-1 behind strong pitching from Jon Lieber.
The Phils take the critical series 2-1 to improve to 5-4 on their 12-game road trip.
Lieber (W, 13-12) tossed seven strong innings, giving up four hits and one earned run while striking out six.
Ugueth Urbina pitched the eighth inning for his 12th hold of the season, and Billy Wagner closed out the ninth to earn his 32rd save.
David Bell delivered all the runs the Phils needed in the first, driving a two-run single to right off Tom Glavine (L, 10-12). Ryan Howard delivered a massive solo shot to center in the ninth off Bradon Looper to ice it.
What a tremendous outing by Lieber, working seven quick, efficient innings for the win. Glavine was equally up to task on the other side, settling down after the first and baring down hard on the Phils’ left-handed hitters.
But this series is a credit to the fearless youngsters: Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, combining for four homers, all of them in critical spots.
Howard’s bomb came with the Phils clinging to a 2-1 lead this afternoon, and he put them on the board first last night with his solo shot off Pedro Martinez.
It seems that whenever the pitcher makes a mistake to Howard and Utley, they make him pay. That's not happening with same frequency with the veteran hitters.
Kudos for an extremely resilient road series win, and bravo to our young studs.